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Is Hydrocodone An Opiate/Opioid?

Hydrocodone is an opioid that is one of the most prescribed pain relievers in the nation. Opioids can be highly addictive and should be taken with caution. There are many treatment options available for helping someone overcome an addiction to hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone is a powerful pain reliever used in the medical setting. It is often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. With the opioid epidemic that has swept the nation in recent years, many people are curious about whether their pain medications are opioids or opiates.

To better understand whether hydrocodone is an opioid or an opiate, let’s first take a look at what these two terms mean.

What Are Opioids?

This type of substance is a semi-synthetic or synthetic drug that is created partially or fully in a lab setting. Semi-synthetic opioids are partially man-made with another portion of the substance coming from natural opiates. Synthetic opioids are completely man-made.

Examples of semi-synthetic opioids include oxycodone and hydrocodone, while synthetic opioids include fentanyl and methadone.

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What Are Opiates?

Opiates are naturally derived from opium. Opium is obtained from the opium poppy plant and is full of chemical compounds that give it its strength and pain-relieving capabilities. Examples of opiates include codeine and morphine.

What Is Hydrocodone Classified As?

Because hydrocodone is not naturally derived from opium but rather is produced partially in a lab, it is a semi-synthetic opioid. Drugs that contain hydrocodone include Valium, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, and Anexsia.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, hydrocodone is the most frequently prescribed pain drug in the nation. This medication can be used in a wide range of situations, including after a dentist procedure or an injury.

While helpful in many cases of pain management in a medical setting, hydrocodone is highly addictive and can easily be abused. Some people begin to take the drug and realize that it makes them feel good mentally and physically. This can lead them to take more of the drug than what is prescribed, eventually resulting in dependence and potentially addiction.

While hydrocodone should be taken with caution and closely monitored, not everyone who takes this drug will become addicted. In fact, most people won’t. The National Institutes of Health estimates that only around five percent of people prescribed opioids become addicted to them.

Getting Help For Hydrocodone Addiction

Struggling with an addiction to hydrocodone can be debilitating, but it’s important to know that help is available. There are numerous treatment options that have been successful at helping people overcome opioid addiction.

One successful option is inpatient treatment. An inpatient program offers a stable and supportive environment where patients receive daily, intensive treatment. People often stay in inpatient treatment for 30 to 60 days.

To learn more about whether hydrocodone is an opioid or opiate and the treatment options for hydrocodone addiction, contact us today.

LiveScience - Facts About Opioids — Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Codeine & Others

IWP - Opiate, Opioid, Narcotic - What's the Difference?

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